Italian gays protest Pope's stance on marriage
Reuters reported January 13 that:
VATICAN CITY - About 150 Italian gays demonstrated in the Vatican on Saturday against Pope Benedict's opposition to gay marriage, on the anniversary of the protest suicide of a gay man in St Peter's Square nine years ago.
Men and women from the Italian gay association Arcigay and other groups waved rainbow flags and banners saying "No to the Taliban! No to the Vatican!", according to a Reuters witness.
Other banners urged Italy to offer legal recognition to gay and unmarried couples, an issue dividing the current centre-left government and stoking tension between leftists and the Vatican.
Pope Benedict has said in recent addresses that such changes would support "those ruinous theories that strip all relevance from the masculinity and femininity of the human being".
Some Arcigay members laid flowers at the spot in St Peter's Square where writer Alfredo Ormando doused himself with petrol and set himself alight in 1998, in protest at the Vatican's stance against gays. He died of his burns nine days later.